On The New Mortgage Law Of Turkey

Since the new Turkish mortgage law passed on March 2007, the mortgage and real estate markets have continued their growing trends that are mainly driven by lower interest rates; however, this growth is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

The Turkish mortgage law that passed on March 2007 has two important properties that are expected to boom the mortgage and real estate markets in Turkey:

1) New mortgage products :
With the inclusion of the adjustable rate mortgage products, banks are able to transfer some of the economy related risks in their balance sheets to borrowers. In adjustable rate mortgage products, the interest rate is a sum of a fixed margin that is determined by the lender and a benchmark index that is set by Central Bank of Turkey. In May 2007, central bank decided that Consumer Price Index should be the benchmark index for the variable interest rate calculation. In summer of 2007, some banks started to offer various adjustable rate mortgages and these loans, as expected have lower APRs. However, as Central bank’s current records show there is almost no interest in these variable interest loans right now. This lack of interest is probably due to several factors such as: i) the lack of trust in Turkish economy and the fear of a substantial increase in the interest rates even though the economy has been performing fine in the last 5 years without any major crisis; ii) the recent mortgage crisis in the USA, and particularly, the rise in mortgage default rates in the USA and the fact that most of the increases in the defaults were in the sub prime market and adjustable rate mortgages; and, iii) the lack of understanding of the benefits and risks of these new products. We believe that these three reasons are temporary and in the near future, as people are educated about the risks and benefits of these new products and mortgage brokers fill the necessary knowledge gap, the interest in the products will increase.

2) Securitization of Loans :
About six months after the new mortgage law passed, Capital Markets Board of Turkey completed secondary legislations on mortgage covered bonds and mortgage backed securities. With this addition to the law, banks are now able to bundle the loans into securities and take them off their balance sheets. Covered mortgage bonds and mortgage backed securities are debt instruments secured by a covered pool of mortgage loans (or public-sector debt) to which investors have a preferential claim in case of default. These instruments are among the most liquid fixed income securities after the government bonds in Europe. While it is not expected to see the first securitization until early 2008, reduced risk for the banks will cause a significant and sustainable growth in the mortgage market in the coming years.

Expectations for the future

a)The secondary mortgage market will probably trigger a decrease in the interest rates as banks will be able to transfer their risks off their balance sheets and the ratings of the deals in the secondary mortgage market could be higher than Turkey’s sub-investment grade sovereign rating (this has been the case in similar cases).

b)With the secondary mortgage market’s effects, the banks’ competition growth will fuel an already booming housing market. Especially, when the monthly interest rates get closer to 1 percent per month, the volumes will be substantial, as they were earlier. Expected growth in the mortgage market is expected to mimic those in Spain and South Korea as these countries have followed similar paths as Turkey. Sizes of the mortgage market in Spain and South Korea GDP are 50 and 25 percent of the GDP respectively. So it is not inconceivable to expect that Turkey’s mortgage market may grow up to 30% to %40 percent of the GDP from its current share of less than 10%. Note that since Turkey has a very strong ownership culture, the ratio can be even higher.

c)Turkey’s new long term mortgage laws will increase the investment in Turkey. The new instruments that will be introduced with the securitized mortgages will increase the stability and depth of the financial system probably creating a natural cushion for any unexpected events and decreasing the volatility and avoiding the episodes of financial crises that were observed in 2001 and 1994.

d) Enhanced foreign investment in the property market will cause a boom in the property market. Also in addition to real estate market, as mortgages will need associated insurance, it is expected that insurance sector will be a big beneficiary of the new mortgage law.

e) The central bank will have more dominant place in the economy similar to the developed countries.

f)New law will help strengthen Turkey’s EU bid. The Turkish mortgage law will bring Turkey into line with the standards and practices expected from worldwide property purchasers and investors.

In addition to the tangible effects listed above, we expect that there will be very important intangible effects too. For example, in a country like Turkey where ‘future planning’ is measured with months (mostly because of the economic, financial and political crises), just the fact that people are now able to get a loan up to 30 years is an encouraging incident that will probably change the way people plan, invest, spend and save in the future. Since being able to plan for the future is one of the most important requirements of economic development, the additional foresight produced by the new mortgage law may be one of the biggest impacts of the new mortgage law in the long run.

Property Market On Mallorca

Mallorca has always been a popular holiday destination with tourists from around the world, due to its wonderfully warm climate, stunning beaches and Mediterranean cuisine. However, in the past few years, Mallorca has seen a property market boom – faring much better than the rest of Spain. Holidaymakers are falling in love with the island’s charm and wanting something more permanent. Luxury villas and luxury apartments, in particular, are experiencing an immensely high demand in recent years by numerous nationalities. In general, people are looking for family homes with great views, privacy, and their own swimming pool.

With more than 3,000 holiday villas in Mallorca completely fully booked during the summer months, potential investors in Mallorcan property can relax in the knowledge that renting their villa will guarantee their investment. It seems that people moving to Mallorca are either planning on doing so permanently or looking for the perfect second home.

The majority looking to buy luxury property in Mallorca are British (60%), with around a quarter German (estimated at around 80,000 residents), and the remaining Russian, Scandinavian, Australian, Spanish and South African. The Spanish government is offering incentives to non-European citizens investing in Mallorcan property, making it much easier to obtain a NIE number and Spanish residency.

The south west region of Mallorca has become the most sought-after area for property buyers, mainly due to its fine weather. The winter in the south west is very different to the north or east, as it is protected by the extensive mountain range which runs the length of the island. The areas just north of Palma experience the most pleasant winters. The south west region has an active and lively social scene all year round, with many restaurants, shops and bars catering for all nationalities. Many properties in the south west either dot along the coastline with stunning sea views, look out over marinas, or situate within luxury golf course developments. Peaceful rural retreats can also be found in quiet villages here, and the airport is only half an hour away.

Supply and demand in Mallorca is much more evenly balanced than the rest of Spain, and particularly attractive areas on the island – such as Puerto Andratx – are selling quickly and correctly-priced.

It seems that opportunities to buy on Mallorca are probably as good as they will ever be. Investors can be sure that they will get their dream property for a fair price, and have peace of mind that it will be an excellent investment.

Paul is a journalist and author of numerous blogs and web sites. This latest web site launched some twelve months ago is dedicated to Mallorca Property. The site features property from all over island including exceptional bargains and even bank repossessed properties in Mallorca at significantly discounted rates.

Eligibility For Property Sales Tax Reductions In Alicante

We all have to suffer the payment of taxes on already bloated property prices. Despite the downturn in the economy forcing a reduction in prices especially in the coastal areas of Spain, many people, especially the young, find it difficult to get on the property ladder in Spain.

This is a result of not just low incomes but also the difficulty in putting together a deposit given the reduced mortgages that are now being offered by the banks here. However, there are some initiatives currently being rolled out in Spain to attempt to make home buying by first time buyers “” as well as other identified groups “” somewhat easier.

This is principally being carried-out by introducing tax-breaks or reductions in the applicable property sales tax rate to these identifiable groups. The central government has devolved the property sales tax rate to the autonomous communities or regional governments in Spain, and all have taken on that responsibility and established the local rate of tax for such operations. Some have also opted to introduce income tax breaks for property investments of various types and by various identified groups in society.

In the Alicante area of Spain, property sales tax rates are set by the Valencia regional parliament and the standard rate is set at 7% in Article 16 Ley 11/2000. This rate is however subject to a number of exceptions as follows:

Ley 13/1997 provides that the acquisition of a property by a person suffering a physical or sensory disability of greater than 65% or a mental disability greater than 33% shall attract a rate of tax of 4% for that part of the property which they acquire.

Article 13 of Ley 13/1997 also provides that where the property being purchased is a property subsidised by the government then it is subject to a tax rate of 4% if the property is going to constitute the main home of the purchaser.

The same reduced rate of tax is applicable to property purchases effected by families considered as ‘large’ “” as per Article 13 as modified by Article 32 of Ley 14/2007. In addition the following criteria must be fulfilled:

– the property is purchased within 2 years of the family achieving the status of being ‘large’
– the property formerly used as a family home must be sold within the same period of time
– the new property must be at least 10% larger in area than the previous home
the total taxable income of the family unit may not exceed “‘44,074

Each of these reduction can represent a significant saving and it is worth confirming with the local office of Hacienda eligibility.